Devil's Trill (Daniel Jacobus Mysteries, Book 1)
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From concert violinist Gerald Elias comes this debut set in the classical music world about the theft of a priceless violin.
Daniel Jacobus is a blind, reclusive, crotchety violin teacher living in self-imposed exile in rural New England. He spends his time chain-smoking, listening to old LPs, and occasionally taking on new students, whom he berates in the hope that they will flee. Jacobus is drawn back into the world he left behind when he decides to attend The Grimsley Competition at Carnegie Hall. The young winner of this competition is granted the honor of playing the Piccolino Stradivarius, a uniquely dazzling three-quarter-size violin that has brought misfortune to all who possessed it over the centuries. But the violin is stolen before the winner of the competition has a chance to play it, and Jacobus is the primary suspect. With the help of his friend and former musical partner, Nathaniel Williams, his new student,Yumi Shinagawa, and several quirky sidekicks, Jacobus sets out to prove his innocence and find the stolen Piccolino Strad. Will he be successful? The quest takes him through the halls of wealth and culture, across continents to Japan, and leads him to a...murder.
Devil's Trill gives the reader a peek into the world of classical music, with its backstabbing teachers and performers, venal patrons, and shady violin dealers. It is the remarkable beginning of a wonderful new series.
unadulterated phony baloney. It would’ve gnawed at him the rest of his life.” Jacobus added, “So the violin I heard Kamryn Vander perform on was not the real Piccolino, and it bugged the shit out of me why it didn’t sound right when she played it.” “That’s certainly astonishing,” said McCawley. “But how do we know this to be true? Boris Dedubian’s word? I don’t mean to be uncharitable, but after all, he is a violin dealer. It could be an old wives’ tale. And who’s to say Boris didn’t make a
to grasp what it’s reaching for. It makes sense now. It’s incredible”—Jacobus heard Yumi’s voice break—“and I had never seen it.” “Better late than never. After all, you’re already nineteen,” said Jacobus, sitting back in his chair. “But aren’t you leaving a little something out?” “Something out?” asked Yumi. “Yes, I suppose so. But I don’t know. There is so much to think about now, isn’t there?” “Just the small matter of how to play it the way you now hear it in your head.” At that moment,
trace of it! I think Tartini informed on Paola and her boyfriend, not considering the possibility they’d lose their lives. He probably thought the reward for ratting was Elisabetta’s hand, but then when it became apparent he was in hot water, he ditched it out of Padua with the violin. Think about having a dream—in a monastery, of all places—of making a pact with the devil himself. I think Tartini’s devil dream was not only about diabolical music. I think the dream was about the violin. And about
of violinists past seem even more present than when it was crowded with a live audience. As soon as Yumi began to play the Sarabanda, Jacobus recognized a subtle but sublime change in Yumi’s playing since he had so recently chastised her for lack of understanding of that same piece. Her tempo was not so slow as to be static, nor so fast as to be impersonal, nor so strict as to sound academic. The phrases were suggestively contoured without becoming obvious; the quality of sound, while
have more time to prepare better for your arrival.” “Tell Max that it has been a long year and I decided to reward myself. It is obvious from his hospitality that I have made the right decision.” “Furukawa-sensei says he hopes you will enjoy the food and drink he has put in front of you, even though at this late hour he is serving only this small snack. He remembers what you like. He also thanks you deeply for bringing Mr. Williams and me with you.” “Tell Max it would have been difficult to